That day of “love” is coming up again and big words and even bigger promises will be exchanged by pairs of people once again over the proverbial candle-lit dinner or, for many, whilst in the throes. Perhaps it is time we revisit what it really means to love somebody in the romantic sense. Since most people defer to their favourite celebrity for the wisdom they need to deal with their love life, let’s see what the late great Michael Jackson thinks about what it means to be “in love”…
The way you make me feel
(The way you make me feel)
You really turn me on
(You really turn me on)
You knock me off of my feet
(You knock me off of my feet)
My lonely days are gone
(My lonely days are gone)
In the lingo of wokedom, it is easy to see why this description of being “in love” is problematic. It is all in reference to one’s self. Note how each line in the snippet from The Gloved One’s massive 1987 hit “The Way You Make Me Feel” has at least one “me” or “my” in it. Stop to think for a moment how disturbing this is. If I were the object of Jackson’s swooning here, I’d feel the burden of responsibility for the man’s happiness progressively bearing down on my shoulders with every line of lyric waxed.
One can argue, of course, that there is an equivalent high in feeling wanted and needed. And some people become addicted to a life of being “feeders” to their lovers just as others become addicted to a partner who “completes” them.
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This leads us to the reality of romantic relationships. Ultimately we get into them because there is something in it for us at a fundamental level. Indeed, if one goes deep enough in one’s effort to get to root causes, one will find that all roads lead to a confronting fact. Romance is just a ritualistic dance engaged in by all sexual species designed to lead to the whole singular point of all this from an evolutionary perspective — propagation of the species.
In truth, there is no such thing as unconditional love between romantic partners. As Michael Jackson points out, one’s “love” is elicited ultimately by “the way you make me feel”. Romantic love is premised on that condition.
Nonetheless, as thinking beings, we do have capacity to reflect on what our emotions drive us to do or be. Most of us strive to be a loving partner in the sense of the word we aspire to. As such it is worth being aware of what it means to be disproportionately harping about how your lover makes you feel or how compatible they are to your sense of completeness. If we aspire to truly love the other, we should find happiness in their freedom rather than regard them as a means to fill holes in our lives.
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